No secrets here. I wrote a short story, and I like it. Therefore, I will share it with all you fine folk. My short stories have had tendancy in the past to turn into novellas so, who knows, you could be reading chapter one of my new work in progress. Keep in mind it’s a first draft, but enjoy!
Lucas rushed down the hall towards me, and I considered briefly if I should turn away as if I hadn’t seen him. Before I could though, he had me swept up against his side, his arm around my shoulder, clutching my small frame against his much taller one. And he didn’t even break stride as we now performed a simple gliding walk along the halls, tiled blue and brown from their floor and up the walls as well.
Never one to mince words, Lucas asked, “Why you you avoiding me?”
“Me? I thought you were the one distancing yourself,” I said. Lucas was an intelligent sort of person, but I could still bluff my way through most of our encounters.
“Not at all, sweetie,” he said, using those long, spindle arms to manhandle me closer for a kiss on the forehead.
“Oh, I imagined it was all misunderstanding,”I said, snuggling a bit closer.
Lucas dropped his arm from my shoulders and smiled again: “I’ve got to run now,” he said.
And he did. He practically sprinted to the restroom at the hallway’s end. Ducking into the tiny cubicles, super-hero transformation style, he emerged minutes later as a giant, slime oozing, jade green snake/man hybrid. He licked his long, sharp canines, cackled into the air and in true duplicitous villian style, he disappeared around the corner and out of my line of vision.
I woke up from this nightmare, and oriented myself once again with reality. I was alone. In my apartment. Tucked under the red and brown plaid sheets I clung to as if letting go of these would sweep me into the sea. My head ringing from the late night highball.
A week later, the reality was still delirious, but true. Lucas cheated on me. He misled me for God knows how long. And in the end, he only told me about the affair because his mistress was now pregnant.
He told me via text message. I knew he wasn’t one much for confrontation, but I had no idea how much until that message vibrated in, illuminating my backlit screen and throwing spotlight on all the corners of my glass house I’d thought I could hole away in.
A day after the dream, exactly one week from the fallout, my left ear went deaf. I couldn’t even process what to do with this new curve the first two days after it happened. I was a victim of the infamous Turkey Drop, and now I couldn’t even hear the consolations of those who knew it was coming. I’d been broken up with two days before Thanksgiving. Turkey Dropped, as this type of breakup is called, in order to avoid being stuck with me through the Christmas holidays, and the New Year ring-in, and my birthday, and Valentine’s day until he could drop me in early March. And now half of my world was silent and I couldn’t even be bothered to wonder why.
On the third day,I went to my doctor and after the standard round of invasive questioning on when I’d last used all my parts, he told me it was just a bit too much wax in my head. Nothing glamorous or exotic for this gal. I was simply full of too much smelly, golden glue. There wasn’t much to do but try home remedies of peroxide and sweet oil and wait it out, he said. The glass house was in deadly broken slivers, and all I had now was time to kill anyway.
I went to the bookstore later that evening to find something that would occupy my thoughts and simultaneously help me fall asleep. Standing at the informaton desk, describing my pitiful self-serving book needs, the book-maiden assisting me asked if I knew the author and title of the book I was looking for. She wanted me to pin down my heart’s bloody flip-flop on her bookshelves. I said forget it, and asked her to show me the section where computer repair books were.
I headed to the shelves where my book-maiden resolutely pointed, banishing me to the land of hard drives and cold logical machines, as she picked up another customer’s call on line one. Whomever is imagining that a small town bookstore is the place to go to nurse a broken heart, be warned that it’s simply not so. Wading through endless titles on self-help and Godly love to reach my desired section, I looked up the stairs, across the store, and into the coffee shop that was buzzing with activity, muted, silent-film style in my present condition.
Cafe center stage sat my Lucas, and he was not alone. Dear readers, no, he was not alone.
Lucas sat, all long slimbs and with a heartbreaker grin in a chair made for someone with less chuzpah. He still lookde so good. Better than ever, in fact. One shouldn’t be allowed to look so good after crushing someone else.
He sat with one foot tucked beneath him and his coal black hair ws trussed up in the semi-pompador, mohawk style I still found so endearing, even as I tried to hate it with all my might. He was talking animatedly with hands fluttering like startled birds. As he smiled and preened, leaning over that small cafe table, at ease as a veteran actor on stage, I wondered, did his heart still pound so hard you could feel it through his chest. Did it shudder and shake like that for this woman across from him as it had thudded so violently once when I leaned against his frame?
She was unreal. My first thought, bitter as an accidental bite into an apple core, was how in the hell had he chosen to give this one his seed? Luke is the only gospel that mentions the virgin birth. I’d always assumed this was just mixed metaphor, but now there was Lucas’s “baby momma” and I was reconsidering. A miraculous unconsumed birth is actually something I could see Lucas perpetuating to honor his own attractiveness, getting behind such an idea, you can say. I would have preferred this miracle to the truth perhaps. Ah, irony!
The woman was very rotund. I’m harsh on this vixen, but mind you, she’d just been a co-conspirator to my cuckold horns, and they were still heavy, so heavy, upon my head. Her hair, perhaps blond once, seemed much too short and she had muddied it with magenta and faded pink streaks. She had fine bone structure, though. She was built like a stocky, well-fed Amazon. She would crush me in battle. It appears she already had.
She wore a quirky, long striped scarf, looking like a Whovian character of sorts. Her socks, I noticed as she crossed her legs and her ankle length flowing skirt parted, where mismatched. She wore those terribly impractical snow boots that everyone is so fond of. What made her more desirable than me, I wondered, as my knees shook and my heart continued to run wild with ache.
I looked down at my own black Converse, a Smiths lyric written on the rubber sidewall. They were untied. I looked back to this new couple at their table. Lucas dropped his gesturing hands to his coffee cup and warmed them there as the woman said something. Then they both laughed aloud, their open mouths ringing with the sounds I couldn’t catch. It was rare to ever that Lucas laughed aloud. I’d only heard it once between smiles we shared or whatever it was people who laugh share.. Everything that once “was,” I was now rethinking as I watched the two.
Maybe in some alternate realtiy, I would have marched up the chairs and flipped their table, telling the woman how silly magenta was as a hair color for thirty-year-olds. But the sane, wounded me knew about that kind of futility. I turned and walked out of the bookstore and into the new December air, chilly, but familiar once I’d let it soak into my skin and take hold of my bones.
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